Is van Gaal really a SuperCoach?

It seems incongruous that Louis van Gaal is under any pressure at all at Old Trafford. Nobody actually expected him to win the league or to progress that far in the Champions League and whilst he's out of one domestic cup competition, he's still in the FA Cup and looks bang on to finish in the top 4 in the league. However, Jose getting the bullet at Chelsea has changed all that and although he left Chelsea 14 points adrift of United, the fact that he's here and available has turned into a game changer for the Dutchman.

We never actually bought into this idea that LvG was some sort of supercoach. We thought that he got lucky at Ajax when he won the European Cup in 95. He had the equivalent of the Class of 92 in trumps and he inherited them.

Van der Sar, Reizigner, the de Boer brothers, Seedorf, Davids, Litamen, Overmars, Bogarde, Kanu and Kluivert. You’re talking of 11 great young players who all came through at exactly the same time.

At Barca he took Bobby Robson’s side that had won 3 trophies the previous season and made it that little bit better and went on to win the league. Robson would have done the same anyway.  He went downhill after that and lost the league to Deportivo. That’s like losing the Prem to Villa. On his return to Barca he lasted just 8 months and left them 20 points behind the leaders and 3 points above the relegation zone.

At Bayern he took a team that had finished as title runners up the previous season and then came 4th the year after before yet another sacking.

And the behaviour pattern always seems the same. He first of all falls out with the fans, then the press, then the players and finally the directors. It normally ends in tears and we can see no other ending this time either. The United fans’ and the United board’s desire for better football and more trophies will pull the wool over their eyes when it comers to Jose’s shortcomings, many of which have been exposed this season.

Is there a chance that LvG could keep his job until the summer when Pep would come in take over? After all, Pep has previously referred to OT as a “mythical place”. No chance whatsoever. Pep is a first team coach and works best when he slots into that position with the rest of the backroom already in place. City have that set-up and Pep knows the key directors including his ex team mate from Cruyff’s Dream Team, Txiki Begiristain, City’s Director of Football. He’s not going to take a punt on Ed Woodward that’s for sure and so Jose looks nailed on, sooner rather than later.

In our league, Paul Cellini is retaining his top spot courtesy of his captain, Mahrez but Sam Lomas is creeping up on him. Sam went for Ighalo as his captain this week which wasn’t quite as good as Mahrez but still very respectable. The choice of captain seemed to be split between Lukaku, Mahrez and Ighalo with those choosing the Leicester man coming out on top.

We have to give a mention to Mike Barnard whose team name is Mahrez Attacks but who chose Lukaku instead. How does that one work Mike?

The Top 10 are as follows:

Paul Cellini

Sam Lomas

Luis Cruz, ConSol Partners

Alan Furley

Ben Wilcox, Bauhaus

Peter Wrigley

Bartley Hilliam

Andrew Dyson

Mike Bernard

Jon Pheasant

Manager of the Week

Sam Lomas

Until a couple of weeks ago, Watford fan Sam had never been mentioned on these pages. He’s never won a Best of the Rest award, a Manager of the Week or anything. Then, just a couple of weeks ago he came bounding into our Top 10 and has ended up in 2nd place this week and also won the Manager of the Week award with an amazing 98 points. Sam has been active in the transfer market but he hasn’t just played his Wildcard and got good. He played that way back in week 3.

A team to copy eh guys? 

Page 2 Pacesetter

With no less than 102 points in 64th place, we find last week’s Best of the Rest winner, James Staff. We talked all about James’ team last week but if we were to be slightly critical, we’d ask if he would really prefer Kolarov v Arsenal away or Nyom v Liverpool at home? And James is an Arsenal fan!

Page One beckons James.

The Best of the Rest

James Staff

With 88 points in 1117th place we find another Arsenal fan, Andy Jamieson. In a team packed with the usual suspects, only Smalling, De Bruyne and Pieters let him down.

The problem with this sort of team is that you never catch up because the managers above you all have the same players. Time to be bold and get some differential in there Andy.

Taxi for...........

Nathaniel Clyne.......

Liverpool’s ex-Palace trainee is the PFL’s 4th favourite defender with a 28% ownership. We just don’t see why particularly when the Kloppo revolution seems to have hit the buffers. Just one clean sheet in the last 8, no assists or goals whatsoever all season and 7 goals conceded in the last 3 games says to us there are better places to spend your £5.4m.

Get him binned! 

One to watch..........

Allan-Roméo Nyom......

Watford’s Cameroonian international was incredibly playing as an amateur until he was 22 years old. He came to Quique Sánchez Flores’ attention whilst on loan from Udinese to Granada and he was quickly snapped up by the Hornets for a nominal fee in the summer. At £4.7m and with 24 points in the last 3 games playing in a team that’s kept clean sheets in nearly half of their matches, he seems too good to be true for us.

No Brainer!

Team names please

The reason we ask for your agency name as part of your team name is because it’s the only way we can ensure that we are paying the prizes out to the correct managers and that those managers are genuinely in the recruitment industry.

With the latest hacking of our league from semi-professional FL-ers, its even more important. Please help us manage the league better by doing this.

However, those of you who aren’t putting in your team names are missing out on some great publicity for your agency and, as recruiters tend to be competitive creatures, isn’t it better to beat you rivals in business AND in the fantasy league?

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